Zanesville, OH asked in Family Law for Ohio

Q: My 9 year old daughter wants to change her last name

I was wondering if you could give advice as to my daughter is 9 years old her father has only seen her 2 times a year give or take and each time for less than 30 mins for each visit. She cries when she has to go with him so bad that she throws up she has been wanting her last name changed to mine i was never married to her father and she doesnt know anything about her family on that side except maybe a name her father doesnt contact her until the time he finally sees her which is around birthday or christmas for less than 30 mins he exspects her to call him and they have never had a bond she has more of a bond with me and my parents which are Harmons and i have had her since she was born so has her grandparents (harmons) which see her everyday. He will get mad at this but she finally has been realizing what a father is suppose to be and hes doesnt act like she exsist aswell as his family never act like she exsist. What are my options?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Nic  Schaefer
Nic Schaefer

A: You can change her name, but you'll have to get permission from her father.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: If you were not married to the father, and he never established paternity, and no court has granted him parental rights, then you have sole legal custody and get to decide who gets to spend time with your daughter, or to prohibit that contact. If visits with him are causing her physical distress, you could consider not allowing him to visit with her without you, or at all. If you refuse to allow contact, he might file with the court for parental rights. You could explain the situation to the court, and the court would decide what parenting time he should have and if it should be supervised. You also can file for child support. If you are not collecting child support now, you could tell him to approve the name change, or you will file for child support. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local family law attorney to advise you.

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